# Conceptual Question: The Magnetic Field

• delecticious
In summary, the conversation discusses using the right hand rule to determine the direction of the magnetic field at a given point P in a system of four wires with currents of equal magnitude. The goal is to choose the direction of the currents in a way that ensures the total magnetic field at P always points towards a corner of the square formed by the wires. The participants suggest different combinations of current directions and encourage experimentation to find the correct solution. The diagram is clarified to show that the wires are represented by circles and the current flows into or out of the page.
delecticious

## Homework Statement

There are four wires viewed end-on in the drawing. They are long, straight, and perpendicular to the plane of the paper. Their cross sections lie at the corners of a square. Currents of the same magnitude are in each of these wires. Choose the direction of the current for each wire, so that when any single current is turned off, the total magnetic field at point P is directed towards corner of the square.

## The Attempt at a Solution

I know that using the right hand rule by curling your fingers in the direction of the current you can find the direction of the magnetic field, but I don't think I am applying the rule right and I'm not sure how to get it so that if you turn a current off P always points to a corner. Can anybody help?

Show what you've tried. For a given wire, which way does the magnetic field at P point? (Show how you are using the right hand rule.)

Play around with it. The kinds of answers to consider are: Should the currents all point the same direction? Alternating directions? Etc... Just try various combinations until it works.

Well I put the current going from wire 3 to wire 2 going up, wire 2 to wire1 going left, wire 1 to wire 4 going down, and wire 4 to wire 3 going right. Using the right hand rule if the current flow is stopped at either of the wires the way I used the rule it'll always face P, but I'm not sure if that is right.

I believe you are misinterpreting the diagram. Those horizontal and vertical lines are not the wires. (They just mark off a square.) The wires (seen in cross-section only) are those four circles. The current goes into or out of the page.

## What is a magnetic field?

A magnetic field is a physical phenomenon that is created by moving electric charges. It is a force field that surrounds a magnet or a current-carrying wire and can exert a force on other magnets or moving charges.

## How is a magnetic field created?

A magnetic field is created by the movement of electric charges. In magnets, the movement of electrons in atoms creates a magnetic field. In current-carrying wires, the movement of electrons creates a circular magnetic field around the wire.

## What is the difference between a magnetic field and an electric field?

A magnetic field is created by moving electric charges, while an electric field is created by stationary electric charges. Additionally, magnetic fields are always perpendicular to the direction of the moving charges, while electric fields can be in any direction.

## What are the properties of a magnetic field?

A magnetic field has both magnitude and direction. It can be represented by magnetic field lines, which show the direction and strength of the field. The strength of a magnetic field is measured in units of tesla (T) or gauss (G).

## How is a magnetic field used in everyday life?

Magnetic fields have many practical applications in everyday life. They are used in generators to produce electricity, in motors to convert electricity into motion, and in MRI machines for medical imaging. They are also used in compasses for navigation and in credit and debit cards for data storage.

• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
16
Views
447
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
166
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
397
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
14
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
7
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
8
Views
483
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
43
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
11
Views
551
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
21
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
7
Views
302